About us

ATLANTIC EMPIRES (Æ) is the short name of a group of advanced research in Modern History hosted and financed by Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard University (RCC). The complete name of the group is From Empire to Nation: The Making of Modern Nations in the Crisis of the Atlantic Empires (17th-20th Centuries), which constitutes also the field of its research. The group will be working at Real Colegio Complutense from July 1 thru August 31, 2010. Throughout this period, Æ will develop its research project and present its first findings and results in a set of seminars and panels, some of them with the contribution of other specialists and groups of research. Also, Æ will host three extraordinary conferences at RCC, given by Prof. J. Varela Ortega (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and Fundación Ortega y Gasset, Madrid), Prof. David Armitage (Harvard University), and Prof. Stanley Payne (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Æ benefits from the financial support of Banco Santander.

Æ is composed by eleven researchers: Juan Francisco Fuentes (director), Eva Botella (coordinator), Octavio Ruiz-Manjón, Josep Maria Fradera, Javier Fernández Sebastián, José Antonio Sánchez Román, María Antonia Fernández, Margarita Márquez, Antonio Terrasa, Florentino Rodao and Regina Martínez (grant holder and responsible of the blog).

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Last meeting in Harvard

The group of Advanced Research met for its  last time, at least in Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard University, last thursday, august 26th. The meeting, where they were discussed the main conclusions of the researches after two months of work, took place in the backyard of the RCC. Although the activities of the group in Harvard are over, there are still many things to do from Spain, especially the release of a book in spanish which will contain most of the papers presented during this summer and works of academics as David Armitage or Txema Portillo.

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Debate and conference on Spanish Historical Memory and Civil War bt Stanley Payne

Stanley Payne, Professor Emeritus of History at Wisconsin-Madison University, and one of the best known experts on Spanish history in the world, joined AE last week, to participate in its last public activities. These activities where both focused on the way Spaniards deal with their past, specifically, the subsequents social effects of the 1936’s Civil War until nowadays. Issues as the recent Historical Memory law and its convenience or today’s Spanish politics, among many others, where developed by Prof. Payne during wednesday and thursday’s sessions.  

On wednesday at 8 pm, there was a debate, moderated by Professor Juan Francisco Fuentes, director of AE, in which it took place an amazing an interesting discussion about the Historical Memory as a general concept and as an actual topic in nowaday’s Spain. Although the late hour, the session, that lasted an hour and a half, was crowded and there was a great participation of the present audience.

On thursday, at 6 pm, in front of an even bigger audience than the previous day, Payne gave an extraordinary lecture, making a comparision on how United States and Spain overcame the effects of their respective civil wars. Once again, the later discussion was greatly interesting and there was a very active participation from the audience, in which, among others, there was Prof. David Armitage.

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Florentino Rodao

CURRICULUM VITAE:

Doctor por la Universidad Complutense (Geografia e historia) y de Tokio (Ciencias y Letras). Investigador en la universidad de Tokio. Profesor visitante en la Universidades de  Wisconsin, Visiting acholar en la Universidad de Tokio y Australian Nacional unviersity. Profesor en la Universidad de Keio y (probablmente) en la de Puerto Rico.Autor de Franco y el imperio Japones (2002), Españoles en Siam (1997) y coordinador o editor en otros cinco libros. He investigado la presencia de España en Asia en aquellos lugares donde no gobernaba y ahora, por primera vez, investigare sobre la colonización en Filipinas.

RESEARCH:

 En los dos meses en Boston, espero profundizar  en conocer el impacto del darwinismo social en el final de la presencia española en Filipinas. La influencia de las teorías biológicas sobre la evolución a partir de mediados del siglo XIX supusieron la necesidad de re-legitimar la presencia colonial española, tanto en Cuba como en Filipinas. La sociedad española se encontró por tanto con una difícil tarea que retroalimentaba por otra parte los deseos de autonomía y/o independencia mientras que por otro lado estaba reconfigurando su relación con Filipinas para fortalecer los lazos coloniales y que sus empresas sacaran más beneficio de sus productos, materias primas y su mercado. La busqueda de relegitimación fue un proceso paralelo a la reconfiguarcion de la presencia  que demuestra, además, la agencia de los propios filipinos en el proceso.

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Juan Francisco Fuentes-Director of AE

CURRICULUM VITAE:

Director of the Group of Advanced Research From Empire to Nation, RCC at Harvard University (2010). Full Professor of Modern History at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in 2006 (Center for European Studies) and 2008 (Department of History) and fellow of Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard University in 2006 and 2008. He is the author of thirteen books, among them Largo Caballero: El Lenin español, Diccionario politico y social del siglo XIX español and Diccionario político y social del siglo XX español, both directed with J. Fernández Sebastián. Curator of the exhibition La nación en armas. España, 1808–1814 (Sociedad Estatales de Conmemoraciones Culturales and Ministry of Defence). His main fields of research are conceptual history, political biographies and Spanish liberalism.

 RESEARCH:

Making Modern Nations: Myth and Concept of Civil War in Spain (1898-1939)”

“Civil war is a gift of heaven”: Some Spanish politicians and intellectuals, such as Miguel de Unamuno (perhaps the main prophet of the civil war in modern Spain), believed in the moral and historical properties of civil war, making possible a historical change that, in other circumstances, would be inconceivable. This project is aimed to discover and analyse the discourse, in modern Spanish political thought, on the civil war like a shortcut towards nation and revolution, and, at the same time, the parallelism with other foreign similar experiences about war as a key factor in the making of the modern nations. The project will be focused in the search of evidences of a discourse on civil war like a “gift of heaven”, meaning by that an extraordinary device to reach an, otherwise, unachievable aim related with modernity.

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Margarita Márquez

CURRICULUM VITAE:

Dr. Margarita Márquez, born in 1968, bachelor´s degree in Information Sciences and Ph. D. in History of the Mass Media in Madrid – Complutense University-; teaching and research at the universities of Complutense, TU Dresden and Georgetown University; Coordinator of the research unit “Nación y nacionalismo Español” at the Ortega y Gasset Institute; member of the Scientific Committee of the Universidad de los Mayores, Complutense  University; coordinator of the “Cátedra Ortega y Gasset de Periodismo” of the Information Sciences Faculty and Ortega y Gasset Foundation, deputy publisher of El Imparcial online newspaper.

Research focus: Nation and nationalism, Contemporary History, Spanish and Universal History of Mass Media, intellectual and political thinking

RESEARCH:

The roots of the feelings towards the Nation, the Motherland and the State of Puerto Rico viewed by intellectual thinking: Betances, Hostos and Gonzalo Marín (1848-1898).A vast bibliography exists regarding the origins of the feelings towards the Nation, the Motherland and the State in the final Spanish colonies in America.

These studies were mainly based on the beginning of these new realities on both islands from the Political, Strategic or Military viewpoints, paying lesser extent to the influence which intellectual thinking –the ones who led the colonial revolutionary movement- had to do with them.

The objective of this research is to look at the vision of these roots studying their traces in the three main figures of the boriquen independence movement intellectual thinking: the doctor Ramón Emeterio Betances, the philosopher Eugenio María Hostos and the poet Francisco Gonzalo Marin, intellectual activity which flew from the colonies to Madrid in round trip. This research will help to complete the up to date studies about Puerto Rican emancipation and to open new lines of research.

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Eva Botella-AE coordinator

CURRICULUM VITAE:

Dr. Eva Botella-Ordinas is a Ramón y Cajal Research Scholar-Associate Professor at Autónoma de Madrid University. She is the author of Obras y relaciones de Ant. Perez. (1999), Diego de Salazar, Tratado de Re Militari (2000), Monarquía de España: Discurso Teológico. 1590-1685 (2006), and of many articles, the last one “Debating Empires, Inventing Empires: British Territorial Claims Against the Spaniards in America, 1670–1714” for the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Spring/Summer 2010, Vol. 10, No. 1;and she is currently writing a book for Brill Academic Publishers entitled Debating Empires. The Atlantic imperial ideology. Spain and Britain in the Americas, 1660s-1730s. eva.botella@uam.es

RESEARCH:

“From the Spanish Empire to the British Nation. 1670s-1780s disputes over Florida-Georgia.”

From the 1670s until 1821 Florida was a contested land. The main dispute lasted a long century. From the 1670s to the 1780s the Spanish-British colonial debates relating to ownership and claims of dominion in the Americas helped to both forge and modify British and Spanish imperial ideologies. The case study of this dispute over Florida-Georgia is particularly interesting, as it engaged directly many members of the British Privy Council and of the Royal Society. These men shaped British imperial ideology and

the Enlightenment while defended their particular landed and commercial interests in the area and beyond. The project seeks to analyze first, to what extent the creation of a British imperial enlightened ideology opposed to a supposed backward and dark Spanish empire is related to British-Spanish imperial claims over the same lands by some particular actors; second, attending to the actors and their networks, to understand whether this imperial ideology was forged by an international elite, and then widespread, also in Spain; third, the connections between the civilization stages´ theory and the juridical claims of tutelage of pretended underdeveloped societies–with a status of minority and/or femininity—and if they were applied to the quarrel for these contested lands; and fourth, to understand the process by which this imperial ideology colonized also the metropolis creating a concept of “nation” which would help to support the interests of this elite.

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